On May 15, 1918, in the midst of World War I, a small group of Army pilots delivered mail along a route that linked Washington, Philadelphia, and New York—initiating the world's first regularly scheduled airmail service. The United States Post Office Department took charge of the “U.S. Air Mail Service” later that summer, operating it from August 12, 1918, through September 1, 1927.
In honor of the 100th anniversary of the beginning of airmail service, the Postal Service™ has issued two stamp designs in 2018. The first stamp, United States Air Mail Blue, commemorated the pioneering spirit of the brave Army pilots who initiated airmail service on May 15, 1918. Rendered in blue and printed in intaglio, the stamp features a drawing of the type of plane typically used in the early days of airmail, a Curtiss JN-4H biplane. This second stamp, United States Air Mail Red, identical to the first except for being rendered in red, commemorates the beginning of airmail delivery through the U.S. Post Office Department on August 12, 1918, and pays tribute to the foresight of those who fostered airmail service and made it a success.
For the service to succeed in the early days of flight, the Post Office had to develop profitable routes, such as between New York and Chicago, and to establish the infrastructure for safely making night flights. It set up lighted airfields and erected hundreds of airmail guide beacons between New York and San Francisco so that by 1924 regularly scheduled, transcontinental flying was possible, day and night.
Airmail delivery, daily except on Sundays, became part of the fabric of the American economy and spurred the growth of the nation’s aviation industry.
The stamp designer and typographer was Dan Gretta; Greg Breeding was the art director.
The United States Air Mail Red stamp is being issued as a Forever® stamp. This Forever stamp will always be equal in value to the current First-Class Mail® one-ounce price.
Blocks of stamps: Requests for more than 5 blocks per item may not be pre-packaged, and may be converted to full sheets or rolls. Custom orders for more than 5 pre-packaged blocks may be requested by calling 1 800 STAMP-24 (1 800 782-6724): Custom order fees will apply.
Made in the USA.
SKUs featured on this page: 477904, 477903, 477902
The Postal Store® ships all in-stock orders with USPS Tracking™. Please allow 5 - 7 business days for in-stock items to be shipped.
The Postal Store® cannot accept orders for shipment outside the United States, but we do ship to APO/FPO/DPO addresses and U.S. territories. Learn More
Stamp and Philatelic Orders
All stamp and philatelic orders are charged a $1.25 Handling Fee on domestic orders of up to $50.00, and $1.75 if the order is greater than $50. These fixed handling fees apply to only the portion of the order total that is stamp and philatelic products.
Personalized Stamped Stationery
All Personalized Stamped Stationery products are charged a flat Priority Mail rate depending on how many boxes are ordered as specified in the PSE Shipping Charges table, and should be shipped within 5-7 business days.
Free Shipping Supplies
Free shipping supplies are mailed Standard Post™ and are shipped within 3-5 business days. For your convenience all orders will contain a carrier release endorsement "Leave if No Response". This will allow your postal carrier to leave your expedited packaging supply order if you are not available to receive the delivery.
Expedited Shipping Supplies
If your local Post Office is unable to fulfill your order of Expedited Shipping Supplies within 1-2 business days, your order will be fulfilled by our distribution center within 3-5 business days.
All Other Products
All other products except free shipping supplies are charged standard Priority Mail fees based on weight of the item and shipping address ZIP Code™.
Pre- or Back-ordered Items
If your order contains pre- or back-ordered items, all in-stock products will ship within 5-7 business days and any pre- or back-ordered items will ship separately as they become available.